Universal Design targets everyone*

Being able to go where we want, when we want, with as little fuss as possible is important for everyone.

Some people however are restricted from being able to do this, because of barriers that have been incorporated into the built environment because often we have not considered everyone.

Whilst there are minimum Australian Standards for Access and Mobility, these are usually used as the maximum we need to consider in the built environment. Minimum Standards only give us minimum compliance, they don’t cater for the needs of everyone. Therefore, they don’t provide good access.

The Australian Standards don’t consider the access  needs of people aged over 65 or a person using a scooter, or a child  with small hands, or a smaller person who finds it hard to open doors or use installations that are too high.

Therefore considering the 7 Principles of Universal Design rather than minimum compliance in the built environment is essential, as it gives us the opportunity consider all people and enhances the capacity to support the changing needs of everyone throughout their differing life stages.

Organisations that target markets worldwide understand that if they design for everyone on the planet, they are more likely to sell their products, services and facilities, because they will have reached a much larger market than they would otherwise by restricting themselves to specific user market segments. Apple and Nike are both organisations that take this approach and last time we looked that were both tracking pretty well.

Contact Access Institute now for information regarding training in access and Universal Design in the built environment.

*Copy supplied by Access Institute